Saturday, December 3, 2011

Senior Citizens and Geriatrics
It is a fact that apart from a class of special attention to be given to all senior citizens,their health and special mode of living ,are to be taken into consideration.This comes under Geriatrics,which is a Medical specialty in present days.This specialty is catching up these days ,in order to keep the senior citizens healthy,active and to have good living with others in the Society.
For any specific ailment and need for Medical help,senior citizens do go to a Physician or other Medical specialist as per the need.Apart from this,senior citizens do have general Geriatric problems some times,pertaining to complaints like dullness,inactivity,feeling of isolation from others etc etc.All these occur in old age,in general.To get out of these problems of health,the help and advice of Geriatric Specialist is needed.The Geriatric specialists are the kind of people who can counsel the senior citizens in an appropriate way in order to make them responsive to to become healthy and active.These specialists are calm,quiet and patient to listen to the expressions and feelings of the senior citizens who come with varied complaints.The remedy in such cases involves more of good counseling than any medical treatment.
I am now 81 years old.I remember,more than five or six decades ago there were Medical Practitioners,who used to be M.B.B.S.doctors only,in many towns and even small cities.They used to visit some houses in which they used to be known as Family doctors.Such relationship between a doctor and a patient used to create immense satisfaction among the public.Such doctors used to be very close to the family and their problems were being put forth by the family members for the Doctors'advice,in all respects.This practice no more exists now and it is also not possible to revive it.So now we can certainly have Geriatric centers in all towns and villages.I understand there is one in Bengaluru,by name 'Sunset Clinic' which is running very well.So we may move in this direction to provide such facilities to all of us,senior citizens.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We went to Berhampur to attend the centenary celebrations of Bava on 27.11.2011. The function was arranged at a hotel in Gopalpur near Berhampur. The children of Bava had invited some relatives and also some friends for the function.

The function was organised very well and many people spoke about their association with bava. How he inspired them and shared their memories about him.

They published a Souvenir which contains many articles our relatives had sent sharing their memories of Bava which was released by Smt. Mallimadugula Subbayamma.

Sunder released a Telugu short stories book which he has dedicated to his father, and Jogbabu released a CD and Viswanath a book of paintings.
Underneath are a few photos we took at the occasion.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


My cousin Rani (Bhramari Pandrangi) and husband Rama Krishna are the proud grandparents of twin girls. Her son Ramakanth and Daugher in law Arunima are the proud parents of twin girls Alisha and Anika who were born on 29th June in Washington DC, USA.
Also, my sister Sailaja Somayajula and husband Chalapati Rao have also become grandparents again.
Their second daughter Swapna Gigani (husband Muhammad) gave birth to a baby boy on 14th July, Gurupurnima day. He is named Zain. They have a daughter earlier who is 14months old, named Asha.
May we all congratulate the proud parents and grand parents.

A.Vijaya Murthy (jijji)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Toleti Seshamma

The great lady who lived till 95 years and till her last days kept on stitching, she stitched dresses till her great grand children. we are proud to say that even now her eyes are still stitching some where.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

DAMERLA Family History
(subject to corrections, additions and elaborations by you all)

To the best of my knowledge, the name DAMERLA pops up first in the 1600s when one Mr Damerla was said to have donated some land to the British to build the Fort St George or some other structure in Chennappapattanam. Attempts to get more information on this from Doordarshan have failed. Internet has some entries for our contemporaries, but nothing that goes back a few centuries. We have no way of knowing whether he was a brahmin or a wealthy land-owning chettiar. Brahmins generally tend to be pure in living habits, but hopelessly poor when it comes to wealth. So, he may or may not have been an ancestor of ours. A few years ago our cousin, Balu, was pleasantly surprised when a very pretty girl walked into his office and announced that she was Anita Damerla, but not a brahmin!

That apart, we trace our name Damerla to the village DAAMÉRÁ in Khammam district. Some years ago I was driving from Hyderabad to Rajahmundry, a pretty long stretch to do between breakfast and dusk on indifferently made and poorly maintained district roads. On the Khammam to Ashwaraopet stretch I was informed that the Daamérá village is a few kilometres off the road. I was running short of time and so could not go off the road to investigate. Though I did very much wanted to do so. That was the reason for taking that interior route instead of going via Vijayawada, with its better roads.

Our family lore states that one of our ancestors moved from Daamérá to Rajamahendravaram. He was said to be very religious and believed he will go to heaven if he dies at a place where a river is an uttaravaahini. Rivers in India which originate in the Himalayas generally flow from North to South, even though they meander to the east or west in their course. Then, those that originate in the Western ghats flow west to east and a few others flow east to west from the high hinterland to the seas on our west coast. We do not come across any river that flows from the South to North. Being a rarity, this feature is given religious and heavenly attributes.

But we all know that the Godavari does not flow south to north at Rajahmundry. Perhaps our ancestor was wrongly informed or he chose to settle in Rajahmundry because of the kôti lingaalu there, which makes it a holy place anyway, second only to Vàranási.

We, that means I, have no idea of the name of this pious ancestor of ours. I have no idea of when he came to settle on the gôdaavari theeram. I am further ignorant of the number of generations that have passed since his arrival at the kôti lingaalu. That’s why I said it is family lore, though we have no reason for not believing his moving from Daamérá to Rajahmundry.
Our documented family history, that is, what I could document., starts five generations ago, with Sri Seethaaramayya, my great great grandfather. I have not been able to put a date to him in spite of my best efforts. Now, I am most pleased to see great grand children for my generation. That makes it eight generations. Chitra and Priya here are the seventh generation down the Damerla family tree and their children are the eighth generation.

The boys that carry the Damerla name forward are rather limited. Right now we have Tukkibabu’s son Sudhir in the seventh generation and a lot is riding on him to push the family tree forward with members that will carry the family name forward. I do hope Teddy and Dennis, already married, will extend helping hands to him in the very near future.

That is really not very material. The girls in the family and their children are doing very well. You will pardon me if I say with justifiable pride that they are really doing extremely well. Tracing them down the generations becomes difficult. Two generations down, children of the Damerla girls cease to have any attachment for the Damerla name. Quite rightly too, they must take pride in their father’s family.

Now, let us talk about our illustrious ancestors, at least some of them, about whom we know. Our family has been lucky to have had some really admirable predecessors with qualities and achievements we can emulate with pride and profit.

The first senior that strikes me as being admirable is the totally self-educated and self-made man Venkata Ramana Row. He learnt English without a tutor and he wrote ROW, little realising that he was inadvertently making his name end in a word that means a fight. He learnt aayurveda from a Vaidya, which comes traditionally free once a student is accepted, then he learnt yunaani system of medicine from a Hakeem and best of all learnt allopathy from text books, one of them being the well known and still studied Grey’s Anatomy. According to his perception, he gave medicines from whichever system or a combination he thought was most appropriate to result in a rapid cure. He would get snake charmers to come and squeeze venom for use in medicines.

He formulated the prescriptions and either he or his compounder made them, often in a mortar and pestle, which was around till the 1960s. Without any need to be apologetic, it can be said safely that he was the best, wealthiest and most respected doctor in the then small town of Rajahmundry with a population of just thirty thousand souls. Here is an interesting sidelight: He built a two-room extension with a verandah for use as his clinic. He would sit on a rich carpet against bolsters in the larger room and treat his important and rich clients there, while the hoi polloi would wait on benches on the verandah!

Professor Venkatrao, M.A., L.T (there was no B.Ed in his time) was perhaps one of the most respected sons of the family. He was not only an extremely well read professor of history who retired as the head of the department of History in the Government Training College in Rajahmundry, he was also a highly respected social activist and public speaker. He was personally responsible for mobilising public opinion which succeeded in converting the rail only planned bridge across the Godavari into a rail cum road bridge to provide a road crossing on the river between Rajahmundry and Kovvur. He is the epitome of stoicism: he took the loss of all his four children and his deeply loved wife with great equanimity and continued to do his bit for the society and humanity as a social activist and educator. Early in his life, as an Inspector of Schools, he would ride a horse to reach inaccessible rural schools, a far cry from today’s inspectors who will not move unless they are given a car – duty be damned!

The most illustrious son of the family who got international recognition for himself is the artist Rama Rao. He was not a good student and spent the family’s money on art without earning any money. An indulgent father who recognised his potential talent let him have his way. His talent was recognised by the principal of the local Government Arts College – it is celebrating its sesquicentennial in 2006 – Prof Oswald J Couldrey (pronounced cooldree) and he sent him to the JJ School of Art in Bombay. He did well and produced a profusion of pencil sketches, watercolours and oils. He won royal patronage in Kathiawad and international fame. His favourite live model was his wife, the beautiful Satyavani, who was with us till a few years ago (199?). We can collectively take great and justifiable pride in the fact that his style of painting became the Damerla Rama Rao School of Art. Another Ravi Verma, if he had lived a full life. But smallpox claimed him at twenty-eight in an era when vaccination was unknown in the small town of Rajahmundry. Today we have wiped out smallpox in our country, but too late for Rama Rao! His works were first displayed for public exhibition in the ancestral house and later in 1956 (?) an art gallery was built by the family as a permanent home for his works. The family also ran an art school there for budding artists, many of them have grown to be successful artists. Later, the gallery was handed over to the Andhra Pradesh government in 1979 (?) which has now built another building next to the one built by the family. INTACH has recognised his work as a nationan treasure.

Things were very different a hundred years ago. A widow’s life was nothing less than living hell on earth. It was worse still when the lady was widowed before her puberty. Bhaskaramma Àdurthy was one such victim, the first born of Dr Ramana Row. But no banishment for life to the cookhouse in the in-laws’ place for her. The family rallied behind her, she was sent to school, studied to be a teacher and retired as the headmistress of a government school for girls in Rajahmundry. It was the limit of progressive outlook on the part of the father in early twentieth century and sheer grit and determination on the part of the daughter. She braved social stigma and overt derision and insults when she stepped out of the home to the school, first to learn and then to teach.

Sacrifice was nothing new to the family. Sacrifice for the family yes, but sacrifice for the country? What is that! That is Butchikrishnamma Digumarthi. She joined her husband in the fight for independence and willingly agreed to forego parenthood along with her husband to be able to concentrate on the exciting journey to win independence for the country. After independence she served the Kasturba Trust in an ashram in the small village of Seethanagaram, in the back of nowhere. She had willingly given up city lights for work to uplift the less fortunate rural sisters. In the midst of all this she blossomed into a fine painter of watercolours. She made money too when she painted a classic picture of Mahatma Gandhi being shot and falling with “Hey Ràm” on his lips. But not for herself like today’s millionaire painters. Proceeds from its sale went a long way in financing the building for the Rama Rao Art Gallery and School.

DVR Rao (Nani)

Sunday, July 10, 2011


How wonderful it is to be celebrating 100th Birth Day! How lucky the children are, to be able to celebrate their Dad’s Centenary. It is a most exciting, rewarding, and humbling time to thank the Lord for giving them this opportunity.

It is really a shame that we knew him more when we were kids than get to know him, his feelings, his experiences, and share his thoughts and ideas when we grew up. Thanks to Sarasa, I could get to know him little bit as an adult because whenever we used to talk on phone, something or other would come up and she would say something about Babayya or she would say this is what Daddy said, and instantly I would say “exactly, that is what my Daddy used to say or do too!

As we all know Babayya is the youngest of the 3 brothers. They loved each other very much and adored their mother. They all had the same beliefs, principles and followed them similar way. I believe Peddananna and Babayya have more of Mammayya’s features and my Daddy has more of our Thatha gari’s features. Of all the three Daddy was more adventurous, heroic in nature and when they were young adults had many experiences especially with the Independence movement, but look who went to jail, it is Babayya! And he refused to take any compensation from the Government, saying that it is his duty and no reward is necessary. Of all the three, Peddananna used to be more delicate and stylish in dressing up, and Babayya always used to follow strict British dress code and maintain very regular habits. Every kid wants their father to be the best in everything. Even though we liked how simple my daddy was, but used to feel jealous and admire Babayya for his “proper”way of doing things. We used to say why he should use fork and spoon to eat Indian food. Daddy would say with pride in his eyes “he is a doctor; he has to do that because he doesn’t want to use the same hands for eating that he treated the patients with”. I came to know that one of his favorite food items is “Dosa avakaya”! I believe he wanted to quit studies after he finished his matriculation exams. But with the support and encouragement from his mother and brothers, he did his medicine and had a very fulfilling career.

Some time ago when I wrote a poem about my Daddy, I mentioned that he is like Lakshmana to Sri Rama. He spent most of his life close to his brother who was appropriately named Sita Rama Rao. I could compare Babayya to Bharata. He was away from his brothers but followed the same principles all through his life. I would like to give a small example how they would react to each other and how their relationship was! When Daddy asked his brothers what he could bring them from US, Peddananna would have thought “why should he waste money on me, but again he wanted to do something for me, so I should leave the decision for him. Babayya would have thought, feeling very happy, “My brother wants to get something; I shouldn’t refuse, so I will ask something simple”. And asked for an electric sewing machine! I am sure he must have used it to make his undershirts or pajamas, just like daddy did! How simple they were!

All 3 of them lived a very principled life with no cheating, no gambling, no bribing(they didn’t take and they didn’t give) and no corruption. I believe Giri Peddanannagaru proudly vouched for this. As King Bharatha, Babayya was sometimes, misunderstood and sometimes not even recognized. But it never affected him. He just led his life within his own guidelines. Babayya said that my daddy was short tempered and his anger would last only for a short time. On one or two occasions Daddy got angry with Babayya just like Lakshmana at Bharata, but it would last only for a short time. Afterwards Daddy would say “I am not angry with my brother, his actions at that time made me angry, and that is all there is to it”. Both Daddy and Babayya encouraged each other in their hobbies, and how many of us know that Babayya is a very good cartoonist! I think the year before my daddy passed away, both Kakki and Babayya came to Vizag and spent few days with amma and nanna. Later, amma told me that all 4 of them had a very wonderful time together and Daddy cherished it very dearly.

These 3 brothers never preached or lectured us but just led their lives showing us the simplicity of a good life.

Thank you Babayya and Kakki for inspiring and guiding us.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hi All !

I have seen this news item in the Telugu daily 'Eenadu' dated 24.06.2011 and wanted to share it.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Babayya’s Centenary

In our family and circle of relatives, it has never happened before that any one had reached a hundred years. Several, like Damerla Prabhod Chandra, Mallimadugula Kodandarama Swamy etc. have reached up to 97 or 98 but had unfortunately not touched 100.

So, when we heard that Babayya (Dr.Damerla Venkata Rama Rao – Venkatram to all the family and relatives) would be completing his 99th year and will be entering the centenary year on June 12th this year, we were all very thrilled. When we were told that to suit the great grand occasion, his children and grand children have decided to hold a function and invite one and all, we were very happy.

On 12th morning they performed Ayushya Homam at the residence of babayya’s eldest daughter, Meenakshi and Vangala Satya, at Gatchi bawli, Hyderabad to wish him and our aunt Smt. Savitri a long and prosperous life. From Visakhapatnam, myself, my brother Durga Prasad (Tukki) and sister in law Shanti attended the function. From Srikakulam Sujatha and Srinivas made it a point to go to Hyderabad, to attend the function, which was very heartening. In the evening we all gathered at the community park at Quiet Lands, by about 7.30. The pendal was decorated with all white walls and canopy and a riot of fragrant and colorful flowers. Babayya and Kakki were made to sit on the dais. It was so wonderful to see the elderly couple sitting there smiling benignly, and looking like newlyweds!!

Giri Raj, my uncle’s only son introduced the occasion, and his father, narrated the way they got married in Yanam (French territory) and how he brought the four children up. Chitra Sood, babayya’s eldest granddaughter and daughter of Meena and Satya spoke about her grandfather, how he never wanted to grow old and how he made his grandchildren call him Madurai daddy, instead of Tata. My three cousins Meena, Sarasamma and Geeta spoke shortly about their father. Other speakers were kakki’s sisters, Shanti and Sarala and sisters in law Mohini Giri and Lakshmi. After that I traced the history of Damerlas with the help of notes prepared by Mr. D.V.R. Rao (Nani) and a few anecdotes of babayya’s childhood pranks told to me by my father and grandmother. Apart from our relatives and family members who made it a point to travel long distances to attend this function, there were several friends too.

Babayya’s great grand children, - Sarasa and Geeta’s grand children put of a show of dancing and singing, which was well appreciated. The next day happened to be the birthday of Varsha, Geeta’s granddaughter. So a large birthday cake has been cut by the two birthday babies!

There was a huge spread of different items for dinner which the guests enjoyed very much.

Adurthy Vijaya Murthy (jijji)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Many from our family have contributed their skills,services in many fields-art,music,literature,independence movement and many other fields.Being a doctor in medicine myself ,I was contemplating who were/are the medical men from our family.I thinkit is appropriate to know them so that our future generations can benefit.

My mother,China Lakshmi used to tell about Pusuluri Narasingarao mama,(Satyabaiakkayya&Chinnakkayya-Smt.Damerla Lakshmibai's father).He was probably the first doctor to practice modern medicine from our family at
Berhampur. He was a private practitioner and quite successful and
busy in his profession as he used to go to attend emergencies during
nights frequently .His practice was taken up by W.S.S.RamaRao who was
a G.P. as well as an eye specialist.He was the first medical practitioner in Barampuram.In those days he was the only eyes'specialist between Cuttack and Visakhapatnam.

During the same period Dr.Digumarthy Subbarao was practicing medicine at Srikakulam. Though an LMP, he was leading practitioner at Srikakulam.I was amazed at the way he used to keep updated in the developments in the field of Medicine.

During the same period Dr.W.S.S.Ramarao's teacher,one of the giants in surgery Dr.M.V.Ramana Murty was working at King George Hospital at
Visakhapatnam. After his Masters in Surgery he was awarded FRCS
subsequently.His cotemporary Dr.Toleti KanakaRaju who was also an FRCS
was working at Rajamundry.As a matter of fact Dr.RamanaMurty and
Dr,KanakaRaju were the first FRCS awardees from Andhra region.Later
Prof.Ramanamurtyserved as Director of Medical Services of the then
Composite MadrasState.His younger brother Dr. M.Seetha Ramaswamy,popular as "Dachibabu" in family cicle, did his M.S., in Gen.Surgery as well as Ophthalmology,but took to Gen.Surgery.He had been Proffessor of Surgery at Guntur medical college.

In the same generation some younger to prof Ramana Murty,Dr.Ramarao and others, a good number from our family took up medical proffession . Dr.Digumarthy Gopalaswamy,

Dr.Indirabai,Dr,Damerla VenkatRam,Dr.JanakiBai and so on.Dr.G.Valayya Pantulu,Dr.Vemulakonda Prakasha Rao at Berhampur,his
younger brother Dr.V.Krishna Rao,Dr.Vemulakonda GurunadhaRao, Vizianagaram, Dr.Damerla Raja Rao from Rajahmundry.

Dr.Toleti Chandra sekhar (Thambu) and his wife Dr. Padmavati at Visakhapatnam come to mind.

From my father's side (Undurty)DR.U.Narasingarao ,popular as "Maradam doctor",made name around Vizianagaram.My father's cousin Dr.Kasunaveesula Krishnarao also worked as medical officer in Srikakulam and Viziianagaram districts.

In our generation,me,Dr.D.J.J.Swamy(Jogibabu),Dr.U.V.N.Das,DR.U.N.Das,
Dr.Bhramari,my cousin Dr.AdiSeshu,her husband Dr.B.S.R.Murty have taken up medical proffession. Many of us probably do not remember Dr.PLATON (Pathelkana Narasimharao ) who was an anesthetist. He died at an early age during early 80's.Dr. K.V. Subbarao ,my 2nd cousin,retired as professor of Orthopedics from KGH.

Dr. Lakshmi (Didgumarthy Hanumantharao’s wife)is presently settled in U.S. My memory is wandering if I have forgotten any other name....!! Yes..Gampa Mohan's daughter,Bhushanam if I am not wrong is also a doctor. Dr.Vindhya's brother Dr.Nagarjun is a Pathologist settled in U.K.,


---------------------------Baton goes to our children.My daughter
VijayaLakshmi did her MD in Microbiology.My son-in-law
Lt.Col.Sreenivas Adukuri is Community Medicine specialist serving
Indian Army.Dr.Krishna Prasad,consultant anesthetist at Hyderabad made
a good name as Transplant surgery anesthetist.KP's wife is also a
gynaecologist. Digumarty Narasimharao's (Chimbabu'/Siham's) son
Dr.Subbarao is a Physician presntly in UK.

Recently at Berhampur I met few more doctors from present generation. Vemulakonda family appears to be full of doctors.Subhadrarao's son daughter (I may be excused for not knowing the name),son Dr.koneti,Narasimharao's(Narusu) daughter Dr.( Vemulakonda) Malladi Vijayashree is at Vijayawada now. Uttara's daughter Dr.Toleti Sharada is a gynaecologist at Rajamundry.Late.Vemulakonda BhakarRamam's grand daughter is a doctor at Hyderabad
I tried my best to name most of the
doctors from our family.I may be excused if I forgot any.

Dr.Undurty Srinivas,
Quarter No: 1,
GEMS Hospital,Ragolu.
Srikakulam Dt.-532484

Saturday, May 7, 2011

This article has been sent by Digumarthy Rama Das with a specific request to post it in ushahkalam.


Monday, May 2, 2011

This article has been sent by Digumarthy Rama Das with a specific request to post it in Ushahkalam.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This article was published in The Hindu dated 15th March 2011 on page 5 and I thought it will be nice to share it with our family members.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Articles are based on the lectures by spiritual leaders and are not based on my personal experience. I wrote these articles to enable readers to get a gist of the lectures which they might have missed.

Any comments are welcome.

K.Chaya Rao

Journey from the tomb to the womb and back Part - IV

The soul which leaves the body goes to a place which is suitable to its spiritual learning. If it goes to the other place with a good spiritual back ground it learns further in the astral world. It enjoys its stay there because there is no time limit or space limit and there are no sorts of other limitations. The astral world is several million times more beautiful than the earth and whatever you think you want you get it the very next moment. After a certain time it starts its programming for the next life. The soul has to choose the body, every minute detail of it, the parents and the environment. All should be suitable, otherwise it cannot come down. On the other hand a soul with negative karma finds suitable environment almost immediately because there are many people who are in his state of affairs.

Once the sould enters the womb, as it still has memories of the past, it decides to lead a better life, learns more grow spiritually amd reach God.So it makes a number of resolutions while in the womb and is in a hurry to come out to the world to reach God as soon as possible. At the time of birth the soul cries because it forgets all its resolutons and feels sad that it has to live in this world of delusion. It gets scared because it has lost the security of the the womb. The soul soemtimes suffers in the womb too, if its chosen mother acts against the laws of Mother Nature,thus starts its journey.

As long as it is an innocent child it remembers its past and all the the resolutions made while in the womb and also its purpose of life, as it grows it is influenced by the elders, their way of living, the environment, the acquaintances and so on. If it is not resolute it falls into wrong paths and the purpose of life is once again forgotten. It is a sort of repetitionm, sometimes of his earlier births. Depending on the masters it comes across and if it catches hold an opportunity of meeting the correct Guru it rises in sprituality and adds to the positive karma. Depending on the progress the soul reaches the abode of God or comes back to tomb-womb cycle. When sprititual thinking improves in the people each soul will become more and more aware and consciously tries to go into the outstretched arms of his Father the Almighty.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This Wedding Card has been sent by Mallimadugula Venkata Bangarayya with a specific request to post it in Ushahkalam

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recently we had been to Srikakulam where Srinumama joined the medical college there. We also went around in the town and visited Grama Swarajya Sangham where Mallimadugula Kodanda Ramaswamy garu stayed and worked for many years and his,and his wife Smt. Upanishad Devi garu's busts were erected by the members of the Sangham in memory of the services they rendered to Khadi. I have posted the photos here.

The sangham members received us with great pleasure when they came to know that I am their grand daughter and spoke highly of tatagaru and the work he had done and it was evident that they still regard him with great respect. It was very heartening to realize that good work is still being appreciated in some parts.

Devi, Lakshmana Rao


Random thoughts
By U.S.N.Murty
Age advancement is a major factor in life.While we consider it as an individualistic feeling which varies from person to person,I,at the age of past 80,feel that there is some thing fantastic to know some details as it is astonishing to know them in detail.In my own experience I have seen different factors which vary from day to day.Though it is a slow process,there is a sudden change,as I feel,when we are past 80.At the same time,surprisingly,memory of early day's experiences are fascinatingly memorable,where as the recent ones are not so.At this stage,even memory of common names is difficult to keep up.It is all really unexplainable process,which does not speak of any ill health or any other deficiency.It is all a process of Natural evolution circle as I feel.

In its natural process there is bound to be a feeling of of frustration which should not be entertained.After all life is for living,and that too with all awareness and of trying to do good for yourself and to others in all respects.

Do not merely listen to the word,and so decive your selves.Do what it says.Any one who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at him self ,goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

Every moment of life is very very precious.Time passes very qickly.Let us not waste even a single second of it.The good you have been thinking of doing do it now.Who knows what tomorrow brings to you.Loving kindness is greater than laws.,and the charities of life,big or small ,are more than all ceremonies.

Worship does not consist of fasts and prayers ,but in the offering of a pure and contrite heart.This is my final and best wish,to me as well as all others.


This aricle was written by Niharika (grand daughter of U S N Murthy (Suri babu))and published in the magazine NXg.

Widely known as a city from where classical musicians and dancers hail, Chennai is filling up other spaces. Social activism seems to be high up there on the list, particularly in its younger corners. Whether it is running for a cause or cleaning up trash on the beaches, everything seems to be of value for the concerned Chennaiite whose expression of love for the city means going out and extending support to all causes that prioritise the city’s betterment.

Young, bold and active

Over the last couple of years, awareness campaigns have moved from cleverly worded posters calling for attention to smaller groups gradually building a support system for themselves by cashing in on the enthusiasm of college goers and young working professionals. Bold, sassy, creative and definitely a positive force to reckon with, their group names and novel strategies speak for themselves. ROB (Reclaim Our Beaches) is one such group that has consistently been on the scene with a commitment to the environment, a 21st century top agenda.

They say, “We believe that the current manner in which the earth’s resources are shared among people and among species is highly inequitable. One of the reasons for this and for the sorry state of the world is that the interests of some people and all non-human species do not find a place in our planning; in other words, a failure of democracy. We believe that the beach belongs to lovers, hawkers, walkers, frisbee players, the elderly, the turtle and the fisherfolk. But we are also clear that livelihood rights of the poor ought to receive higher priority.” You will find them with white t-shirts and headbands on lazy Sunday mornings in full force at one of the beaches; this group is making a cooler statement for the city than any before.

However, apathy and lack of involvement of the masses is a major roadblock. Says Sandeep Achanta, who has been a part of the beach clean ups, “I do think we are doing a pretty good job of making people aware. But the problem is that most people are already aware of the messed up situation and the whole expressway plan but don’t really care enough. What can change that?” This indifference is the biggest enemy to any cause. Unless selfish interests are affected, people are on and about their own lives. Good education, emphasising on social consciousness, is perhaps the only way to tackle that.
Annual events

There are also annual events with a series of activities lined up for a fortnight, like Prajnya’s 16-day campaign against gender violence every year. Poetry, music, workshops and discussions form the core of this campaign that hopes ‘to raise awareness of the different ways in which women in particular are vulnerable to violence, at home, at their place of work, on campuses and in public spaces’. Making use of public spaces in the city and a diverse, inclusive approach with multiple organisations and institutions playing a role along with the crucial involvement from the media is certainly a great way of reaching out and creating temporal and spatial dimensions for upholding Human Rights. Campaigns with a similar format and a gender focus are a regular feature in other parts of the world and the merging of both the creative and social could prove an effective platform for change in mindsets.Talking about mindsets, we cannot forget the yearly marathons, one of the biggest upholders of the city’s spirit. The involvement of celebrities helps focus attention on the event.

The Marg Chennai Marathon in aid of the GiveLife Charity held in August saw the involvement of many celebrities along with huge participation from colleges. The marathon took on a greater significance with its tag line *My city, My pride’. Hopefully, adequate involvement and the frequency of such events will help overcome the indifference that persists.

Aiming higher

On similar lines is the Stella Maris Walkathon scheduled for January 9. ‘The Walkathon will focus on spreading awareness and raising funds towards higher education for women, a pressing need in our time and country. While primary education is slowly gaining focus and importance, there is a vital need to take the next step. In order to power our future forward, India needs her women to be empowered with education and perspective that will take the country into the next decade.’ With the incredible importance that education and literacy have, this seems to be Stella Maris College’s small attempt to make a difference in the sphere of higher education.

Dhiya Kuriakose, president of Stella Maris College Union, says, “At Stella Maris, as a college and as students, we are constantly looking for new things to do. Through the year, we have been aware of how we are a privileged set though undeniably a minority. As our academic year enters its last phase we decided we would do something to ensure that more women have the opportunities that we do.” The event, hoping to be an annual fixture will be a three-kilometre walk beginning at the Triumph of Labour Statue and ending at the Lighthouse and will see The Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, Ms. Letika Saran, IPS, Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Tamil Nadu, Mr. K. Radhakrishnan, IPS and the Consul General, US Consulate, Chennai, Mr. Andrew T. Simkin flag off the event.

I’m totally for it! Youth stepping up to defend nature, good causes and charities is great. Social networking sites also improve levels of awareness. I hope this becomes a rage and soon cultural festivals will also be committed to the cause. - Berty Ashley, Junior Scientist, Anna University

They’re definitely a step in the right direction. Every city needs a proactive student community and it’s cool we are getting one. I don’t think quantifying results and deciding if they are successful or not is the right thing to do. Personally speaking, the social change itself is worth it. - Thomas Manuel, Student of Chartered Accountancy

Niharika is a III year B.A. Literature student of Stella Maris College.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The following are paintings by Damerla Veera Pratap more popularly known as veeradhi mama. They are sent by Sailaja, his second daughter.

Self Portraint of Damerla Veera Pratap - (Jan 3,1909 - Oct 17, 1995)

A street scene

Downtown Atlanta